This may sound eccentric but is a true story of Pakistan reveals that Christians faced death for following their religion.
Aasia Noreen, was a Christian women who lived in Punjab Province of Pakistan. A group of women farm workers were desperate in scorching sun and Aasia offered them water to drink. In stead of saying thanks to her, the village women called her water unclean as she was a Christian. Aasia protested to defend her religion.
This small quarrel over water became a communal dispute in few minutes. The local Muslim leader called on all his followers to take action against Aasia blaming her of profanity, according to her family and legal observers familiar with the case. As a frenzied mob pursued her, the police intervened, taking her into custody. Police arrived but in stead of protection Aasia they arrested her for insulting Islam and its prophet. She was finally given death penalty by a district court. The story has come into light in the recent disclosure of US confidential documents by WikiLeaks.
The matter gave human rights activist a reason to voice against the death penalty and fundamentalist forces stood to defend the blasphemy law. The dispute reached to such a level globally that even Pope Benedict XVI called for Noreen’s freedom in past week.
The story of Aasia Noureen depicts the real picture of Islamic fundamentalist rule in Pakistan.
The fundamentalist Muslims take advantage of the complicated laws described in Quran regarding blasphemy and provoke communal violence against other religions. There are thousands of Naureens perhaps not only in Pakistan but in many other counties where the fundamental right to choose a religion has no meaning for the common people.